Jude's latest update

09 February 2015

Some weeks my feet don't touch the ground & this was one of them! Here's why

Monday: I had my first visit to the 'reading room' in the European Parliament to read the texts for the #TTIP negotiations... Fascinating! Come & discuss TTIP at our public meetings in Newcastle & Middlesbrough! I had meetings on our relations with Latin America, tackling precarious work & defending public services... 

Tuesday started early with ECFR's briefing on #TTIP... Worth reading. Followed by meeting the ETUC on gender equality & a good chat about labour rights worldwide with the ITUC, more #TTIP with Friends of the Earth, a good discussion about trade & sugar with Tate & Lyle, and an extremely moving Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament meeting on the campaign to #endFGM

Wednesday: I met with @amnestyinternational on human rights worldwIde & especially Colombia, a meeting DG Trade on the EU's Economic Partnership Agreements with Africa, the GMB on #TTIP, attended a great event celebrating North East innovation in Sunderland, UK at Nissan, met Hyundai on EU-Korea relations & had a great debate with 150 #TTIP campaigners from across the UK (38 Degrees,War on Want,& Global Justice Now)... Finished day meeting Labour is Our Future's Pat McFadden... Phew!

Thursday - together with other Labour MEPs we had an interesting debate with @cityoflondon banks, then on to meet Guy Ryder from the International Labour Organization (ILO) , Jon Hilary from @waronwant & Peter Chase from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce... Plus an afternoon of lovely staff appraisals with our AllStar team! And with that I'm on my way home!

Friday: Had a great exchange with @MHNEtweets this morning about addressing regional mental health issues... Check out their work: www.mhne.org.uk.  Followed by a briefing on chemical sector regulation (excellent) & a lovely interview by Prospect, union for professionals... In between meetings I managed to make my patch for the Teesside Labour Women's new banner. Not sure I'll win any craft awards but it did remind me that crafts are really good for stress management! 

What a lovely weekend! Banner making with #TeessideLabourWomen,#labourdoorstep with @LouiseBaldock in Thornaby, back to Newcastle to meet NE EAPPI activists, spectacular sunset (!)... & a lovely night with my old school friends... Up early & out this morning in Coulby Newham with @tomblenkinsop & Dave Budd for Mayor - Putting Middlesbrough First... Lunch at Tees Barrage... Over to Ingelby Barwick with Louise Baldock... Ace! All topped off by an invite to the official release of The Unthanks new album at a secret location in deepest darkest Northumberland! A fantastic end to a great weekend! 

Do you think the North East needs its own voice in the EU exit negotiations?

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